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The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) works with small-scale farmers in Haiti to help restore tree cover and increase food production. We create agroforestry cooperatives designed to be self-financing and farmer-managed following a limited period of training and external funding. This innovative, market-based development model results in the planting of significant numbers of trees as well as higher food crop yields and improved livelihoods in rural communities.

Our Organization

We are a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Haiti, and we are currently in the process of registering with the Government of Haiti.

Our Board of Directors 

  • Timote Georges, Co-founder and Country Director, Smallholder Farmers Alliance
  • Raymond Alcide Joseph, former Haitian Ambassador to the United States
  • Hugh Locke, Co-founder and President, Smallholder Farmers Alliance
  • Mark Newton, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, The Timberland Company
  • Rob Padberg, Director General, Bureau de Nutrition et Developpment (BND)
  • Eliette Pierre, farmer and member of Alyans Ti Plantè-Gonaïves 
  • Michèle Pierre-Louis, Executive Director, La Fondation Connaissance et Liberté/Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète (FOKAL); former Prime Minister of Haiti
  • Jean Ernst Saint Fleur, Officer, UNICEF; formerly with Haitian Ministry of Agriculture
  • Jean-Frédéric Salès, Principle, Cabinet Salès
  • Jane Wynne, Founder, Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve

Our Staff

  • Hugh Locke, Co-founder and President
  • Timote Georges, Co-founder and Country Director
  • Tertulien Desir, Agricultural Technician  
  • Celidieu Fleurimond, Microfinance & Women’s Empowerment Manager
  • Wilson Noel, Agroforestry Technician
  • Rosie Despergnes, Environmental Education Coordinator
  • Brian Fridkin, Research Coordinator

Our History

The Smallholder Farmers Alliance began in February 2010 as a pilot operation in the rural Artibonite region of Haiti, near the city of Gonaïves. Hugh Locke, then president of Yéle Haiti, was approached the previous year by the Timberland Company to come up with a project for tree planting in Haiti. He enlisted the help of Haitian agronomist Timote George, then Haiti country director of Trees for the Future, and together they designed a model for reforestation in which the participating farmers form cooperatives and jointly manage the operation and share in the benefits. The result is a groundbreaking initiative in which farmers are trained to oversee two complementary services—nurseries that produce one million trees a year that the farmers plant on their own and community-managed land, and an agricultural service that includes a seed bank, training and tools needed to improve the quality and yield of their food crops. There are agronomists and technicians as part of the program, but they serve as consultants to provide ongoing training to the farmers who are the day-to-day managers of both the tree nurseries and the agricultural service.

Timberland has been the sponsor of the program from its inception. Initially called Yéle Vert and operated under the joint auspices of Yéle Haiti and Trees for the Future, both Hugh Locke and Timote George continued as the principles when the program became an independent NGO under the banner of Smallholder Farmers Alliance in 2012.